Third suspect facing charges in attack at Bradenton Riverwalk skate park

A third suspect is seen on Facebook video ridiculing victim, police say

jdeleon@bradenton.comNovember 8, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A third man is facing charges in the attack against a disabled man at the Riverwalk skate park this week.

Christopher Lovell was arrested Tuesday and charged with active encouragement of abuse of a disabled adult. Lovell, 22, bonded out of jail on Wednesday without appearing before a judge.

Also charged are Rubier Infante Zaldivar, 20, and Devin Mark Wilson, 19. Wilson is charged with the abuse against a disabled adult, while Zaldivar is charged with active encouragement of abuse of a disabled adult.

The victim was hanging out at skate park just after midnight on Tuesday before the attack occurred. He suffers from psychosis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to his mother.

Police say Wilson threw him on the ground and then began kneeing and punching him in the head and chest.

Bradenton police learned of the incident after receiving a tip that Lovell had a

video of the attack posted on his Facebook page, according to police.

Lovell's voice can be heard on the video encouraging the attack, according to the arrest warrant. Towards the end of the video, Lovell threatened the victim just before panning the camera on himself.

"He then follows (the victim) with the video camera as he stumbles out of the park and continues to verbally ridicule (him)," the warrant stated.

Once detectives saw the video and identified the victim, they worked quickly to locate the suspects involved. Lovell was arrested Tuesday afternoon, while Wilson and Zaldivar were arrested just after midnight Wednesday.

Word spread quickly in the skateboarder community about Tuesday's attack. Jesse Douglas, 25, wasn't at the park that day nut he said he heard about it.

"The guy chased him down and beat him," Douglas said.

Douglas said he saw the video on Facebook after hearing of the attack. He said the victim was leaving the skate park and Wilson ran after him.

The victim was a regular at the skate park, according to Douglas. But he wasn't a skateboarder.

"He sleeps out here sometimes," Douglas said. "I have talked to him before."

Douglas said it was apparent from his conversations with the victim, that he had mental limitations.

"A lot of people thought he was on crack," Douglas said. " I didn't believe that."

This could be considered the worst crime that has occurred at the Riverwalk skate park since it opened a little over a year ago, according to Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski.

"This was certain a anomaly that occurred with these guys," Radzilowski said. "It is in the hands of the state, and now the state will determine what happens to them."

Most of the incidents that occur at the skate park are fights and thefts, but not amongst the skateboarders themselves, he said.

"The skateboarders don't go down there to fight with each other," Radzilowski said. "It's a meeting place for the whole region on Friday and Saturday night."

To have some conflict where young people gather is normal, the chief said.

"We have more fights down on Old Main Street at night with the adults drinking," Radzilowski said.

Ricardo Maldonaldo, 19, heard about the attack as well.

"I thought it was pretty stupid what happened," Maldonaldo said.

He said there are often fights at the skate park, but usually between the skateboarders and spectators.

"Not like that one, but there's always tension," Maldonaldo said.

Often times Maldonaldo says a fight will start when spectators throw things that get in their way.

"If you are skating though, you are not really paying attention," Maldonaldo said.

There was some talk that the victim in this week's attack may have thrown a cigarette butt into the bowl where skateboarders were. Neither Maldonaldo or Douglas believed it justified the attack and that the victim probably did not intentionally do it.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service